If a defendant can post bail, he is free to rejoin his life outside of jail while awaiting his court date. If the defendant fails to behave properly, the court can rescind the bail and order that the bond be forfeited. The defendant must then return to jail, despite the fact that he may petition for a second bond, and the bond proceeds may or may not be returned to him.
Why Bail May Be Revoked
Certain behavior can trigger bail to be revoked. According to Lawyers.com, three main situations commonly cause this to occur:
- The defendant fails to appear for a court hearing — known as “jumping bail.”
- The defendant commits a crime while released on bail.
- The defendant violates a condition of his bail, for example, by contacting other defendants or witnesses.
Who Can Revoke Bail
The rules and regulations governing bail revocation vary by state. According to a Texas bail bondsman, every state allows a bail bonding agent to arrest the defendant or revoke bail. A bail bonding agent may do this if she believes the defendant is a flight risk or is otherwise violating the bail conditions. Many states also restrict the circumstances under which a bail bonding agent can revoke bail. For example, bail cannot usually be revoked because the defendant is behind on payments to the bail company or because the indemnitor decides it no longer wants to be responsible for bail.
The prosecutor may request that bail be revoked. Furthermore, the judge has the authority to revoke bail, which he may do if the defendant fails to appear in court as directed. When bail is revoked, the defendant has the opportunity to contest the revocation and explain his actions in court.
How Can I Revoke a Bail Through a Bail Bondsman?
Bail allows someone charged with and arrested for a crime to get out of jail while they await a trial or sentencing. According to a bail bond agent in Florida, people normally pay 10 percent of the bail amount to a bail bondsman to get them to place the bail money and get them out of jail. Across the country, rules regarding revocation or stopping of bail vary.
- Ensure that the defendant is following the bail contract and report to the bail bondsman if they are not. Bail contracts are developed by the bail bond company or bondsman. According to Hill, not following the agreement, such as taking off monitoring devices or using restricted devices, can be grounds for a bail revocation.
- Report a violation of the court release agreement to the bail bondsman. Courts also place restrictions on defendants out on bail that can include not traveling outside of a certain area or being barred from contacting witnesses or other defendants.
- Discuss a defendant’s behavior with the bail bond agent if you feel the behavior is risky or illegal. Bail agents are able to revoke bail in these scenarios to protect themselves. These activities can include anything that would make the defendant a flight risk or likely to not show up to court.
- Learn the rules and process of revoking bail. Bail usually cannot be revoked because money is owed or because the indemnitor no longer wants to be responsible for the client. The indemnitor is the person who puts the 10 percent money up to bail a defendant out.
Forfeiting the Bond
If the bail revocation is upheld by the court, the defendant’s bond is forfeited, and the defendant is returned to jail. This means that the court has the authority to seize the money or property used to secure the defendant’s bail. The bail guarantor may also be required to pay a bail bond fee. The defendant may apply for release again, but if the defendant has misbehaved, the court may refuse to approve bond a second time.
In some cases, the defendant may be able to get his money back after the bond is forfeited. The defendant petitions the court for bail remission, and the court decides whether or not to refund the bond. If the court decides to refund the bond, the amount remaining after fines and costs are returned to the defendant. If they decide against it, the remaining bail is forfeited to the court.
How Can I Get a Bail Bond Dismissed?
A bail bond is a surety bond that a third-party company puts up to cover the bail of someone who is on trial for a crime. A bail bond company pays for the bonding out of jail of the person, but charges a premium for this service. When the court case is complete, and whether the person is found guilty or not, the bail bond amount, including the premium charge, is due to the bail bond company. Legally, the only way to get a bail bond dismissed is to pay the bail bond company.
- Identify the name and address of the bail bond company. You will need this information to check in with the bail bondsman, according to the agreement, and to pay the bond in full when the case is over. For example, if a bail bondsman puts up your bail amount, the bondsman can require that you call or come into the office on a weekly basis until your court case.
- Verify the bail amount and the premium due to the bail bond company. You need this information up front to determine how you are going to repay the bond. When your court case is over, you also need to know this so you can repay the bail bond company.
- Pay the bail bond company. The bond agreement with the bail bond company spells out what type of payment the bail bondsman accepts—cash, money order or cashier’s check. Make sure you have one of the forms of payment the company accepts when your court case is over.
- Obtain a receipt. When you pay off the bail bond company, obtain a receipt that shows your name, date and total payment amount made. If the bail bond company allows you to make a series of payments to pay off your obligation, obtain a receipt for each payment. Make sure each receipt lists your name, amount and date paid and remaining balance.
Tips & Warnings
If you do not have the bail amount in cash, the bail bond company can require someone to co-sign for your bail or to put up an asset such as a home as collateral for the bond. If you do not show up in court or do not repay the bail amount, the bail company can seek out the co-signer to obtain repayment. A final receipt or one showing the bond is paid off dismisses the bond.